Foster mother charged

Relates to:
Date: 2009-09-11
Source: tribtoday.com

By DARCIE LORENO
Tribune Chronicle

WARREN - More than five months after the death of 21-month-old Tiffany Sue Banks, her foster mother was charged with her murder.

Bonnie Pattinson, 31, of Newton Falls, was indicted Friday by a Trumbull County grand jury on charges of murder and felonious assault in Banks' death and was issued $1 million bond.

"We're glad she's arrested," said Banks' biological grandmother, Loretta Banks. "We've been waiting too long for this."

Pattinson appeared before Judge Peter Kontos in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court Friday afternoon. She was upset and cried at points during the arraignment. She'll be back in court Oct. 1.

On April 2, Pattinson reported finding Tiffany not breathing after checking on her while the girl was napping at their 663 Center St. W. duplex in Champion. Pattinson and her husband, William, since have moved to Newton Falls.

Pattinson ran next door, a neighbor performed CPR and police were called, according to police reports.

Officer said the toddler was unresponsive and blue with marks on her body. The marks were not caused by medical treatment and intervention during the call, police reports state.

Banks died as a result of asphyxiation associated with multiple blunt traumatic injuries, according to her death certificate.

CSB had taken custody of Tiffany, who would have been 2 June 27, at birth, declaring her mother, Felicia, unfit. Felicia Banks, Loretta Banks, and Tiffany's father, Tommy Cross, visited the baby weekly until Felicia formally lost custody in November.

They previously said she always seemed healthy. But they were concerned at Banks' funeral when they saw bruises and marks on her body.

The baby's death was ruled a homicide in late July.

Marcia Tiger, Trumbull County Children Services executive director, said Friday, "We'll let the legal system run its course. We cooperated and will continue to cooperate with police and prosecutors."

She also said it's also been a long wait for CSB.

"We're pleased," she said. "We don't know when things are turned over to the prosecutor what's going to happen."

dloreno@tribtoday.com

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